June 4, 2023

Allentown ArtsFest

The 5th Annual Allentown ArtsFest was held at Cedar Beach Park Sept 27 to Sept 29. An admission free, three-day festival that highlighted the diverse art, music, food, and culture to be found in our local area, ArtsFest offers something for everyone to enjoy.

There are three stages playing ongoing local music of all genres, tons of activities for kids from molding clay to making slime, a skate park, giant graffiti murals, comedy and improv sets, breakdancing competitions, dozens of artists with work on display and for sale, delicious local food, and craft beer and wine.

This was the second year, Becki Fahs, the artist behind colorFused, a form of fused glass art, had her artwork on display and for sale.

“I have been an artist all my adult life, having studied art in high school and college. I have been doing fused glass for the past year,” Fahs said, “I love colors and it’s easy to incorporate color into my work.  As I am designing my pieces in my mind, color is one of the first things I envision. I see colors in my mind when I hear music or hear numbers. It’s called Synesthesia.”

This style of glass art is different than glass-blowing.

“I use specialized stained glass which I cut by hand and layer on top of other pieces of glass. The pieces go into my glass kiln which heats up to 1500 degrees and cools back down over 24 hours.  Magic happens to the colored glass in the kiln, and the separate pieces melt into one solid piece of glass. If I am making a suncatcher or jewelry, I finish the pieces by attaching the bails or earring posts, etc. If I am creating a dish or bowl, I put the glass back in the kiln over a ceramic mold- refuse to 1350 degrees, again over 24 hours, to soften the glass so it slumps into the mold shape. Fused glass is considered “warm glass” whereas blown glass is hot glass because it is worked at 2000-3000 degrees.”

Fahs attended NCC in 1980, originally as an art major, and then switched majors, graduating in 1982 with a degree in nursing.

She has always used art as therapy, “I absolutely believe art is great therapy! In my “real job”, I am a psychiatric nurse who specializes in working with adults with intellectual disabilities, and art and music therapy are amazing tools!  It also keeps me sane and grounded. I can’t imagine life without being able to create art. Next month I will be teaching a fused glass class at the Bloomsburg Children’s Museum. You’re never too young to start creating!”

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